Musings about life on Earth in all its aspects…

Day 12 – December 12, 2021

Day 12 – California Merlot and Black Pepper Gouda

What a change from Day 11 to Day 12! A much more approachable and successful pairing. The black pepper gouda with just the right amount of ground pepper to lend a distinct aftertaste, the California Merlot with a rich varietal character and fruity straightforwardness that allowed it to tame and match the cheese in complexity and interest. This deep purple Merlot matched the “little blackbird” name with its inky depths. A combination that was very effective and a pleasure in which to partake.

As part of my ongoing learning the craft of watercolor painting, I tried painting a few Christmassy scenes onto Arches 140 lb watercolor paper and sending them to some folks. I didn’t keep track of who I sent which card and didn’t take photos of all of the scenes, but here is one of them, a wooded snow scene after an artist named Rick Surowicz:

~Roy Beckemeyer, December 12, 2021

Advent Day 11 – December 11, 2021

Day 11 – “Reindeer Red” and Jalapeno Gouda

OK, there’s always room for a joke in a tasting event, right? This one is it. I mean, who would even try to pair a wine with jalapeno gouda? A hot pepper cheese begs for a cold Mexican cerveza with a lime wedge in the neck of the bottle. I mean, ok, a very generic “Reindeer Red” – a grape wine of indeterminate origin with unnamed sweet fruit flavors added (it tasted sort of like strawberry pop) did cut the heat of the peppers, but it was not a match made anywhere close to heaven…or even purgatory.

That inappropriate pairing brought to mind one of our Holiday trips back in the 1980s. We took a trip to Australia and New Zealand, leaving just before Thanksgiving and returning home the day before Christmas. Not a trip I would have the stamina for these days. It was marvelous: we hiked the Routebourne Trail in the New Zealand alps, spent time in Sydney and Melbourne Australia, and had a real fun trip. But seeing Christmas decorations and hearing those great accents made the whole thing seem surreal. All those folks getting ready to depart on their summer holiday trips over Christmas reinforced the idea that the world was upside down Down Under. Kind of like mixing jalapeno gouda and Reindeer Red wine.

~Roy Beckmeyer, 11 December, 2021